Lady Vols stumble on the road against Alabama

The short-handed Lady Vols managed to gain a lead in the third quarter, but could not close out Alabama on the road on Thursday night.

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KNOXVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 21, 2016 - Schaquilla Nunn #4 of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers during the game between the Troy Trojans and the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

The Tennessee Lady Vols’ road woes continue, as they lost to Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 65-57, on Thursday night.

The Lady Vols kept in close throughout the majority of the game, but the Tide gradually pulled away in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

Schaquilla Nunn led the way for the Lady Vols (16-10, 7-6 SEC), posting a double-double (15 points and 15 rebounds) coming off the bench. Mercedes Russell led the team in scoring with 17 points.

Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick had her hands tied once star guard Diamond DeShields went down with an injury four minutes into the game.

“I think she popped her neck a little bit, but she is going to be okay,” Warlick said in a post-game radio interview.

Jamie Nared also got into early foul trouble and struggled from the field the whole game, shooting 1-of-12.

Alabama (16-10, 4-9 SEC) seemed to be a step quicker, especially in the half-court set. Bama guard Coco Knight had a phenomenal night off the bench with 19 points and eight rebounds, both career highs.

Warlick said her team lacked energy and that it showed in the rebound disparity. Both squads shot under 40 percent for the game, but Tennessee was out-rebounded by Alabama 53-38, with 22 of the Crimson Tide’s rebounds coming on the offensive end.

The Lady Vols were able to gain a 43-42 late in third quarter, but it was quickly diminished after a quarter-ending field goal by Alabama. In the fourth quarter, the offensive rebounds for the Tide kept eating time off the clock, and a combination of three turnovers and missed jumpers for the Lady Vols ultimately led to their demise. Tennessee has now lost consecutive games to Alabama after previously holding a 42-game winning streak in the series.

The Lady Vols have had an up-and-down season thus far. From knocking off three AP top-10 teams to losing to one of the SEC’s bottom-tier teams. Tennessee has yet to find any traction on the road to winning consistently. The next two games at home are crucial before the Lady Vols head to Mississippi State on Feb. 26.

Tennessee hosts Arkansas next at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Edited by David Bradford

Featured image by Donald Page, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

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